Graduate

The Master of Arts in Contemporary Arts (MA) is at the forefront of an emergent intermedial approach to the arts. A radical mutuality characterizes the relationships among the visual arts, visual culture, performing arts, and art forms that incorporate reproducible and digital media. This program thinks across the media arts in a comparative perspective that synthesizes the historical and theoretical approaches of art history, performance studies, and studies of computer-based arts.

The Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts (MFA) program provides advanced, professional interdisciplinary training for artists in the fields of music, dance, theatre, film, video and visual art. The program develops student's individual artistic practice, creativity, interdisciplinary research, technical skill and critical awareness of art's relationship to contemporary society.  

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Contemporary Arts is a research-intensive program focused on scholarly and practiced-based approaches to the fine and performing arts. Students may undertake comparative scholarly approaches to visual culture, media arts, sound studies, and performance studies, culminating in a substantial written thesis, or pursue a mix of studio, curatorial, and community-based research, resulting in the creation of an original artwork or a public presentation supplemented by a substantial written body of work incorporating students’ reflection and commentary.

MA PROGRAM APPLICATION

If you are interested in applying for the MA program for entry in Fall 2021, please refer to the MA program application procedures to review what you will need for your application.

  • Applications may be started between October 21, 2020, and February 1, 2021.
  • The application deadline is February 7, 2021.
  • The supplementary document deadline is February 9, 2021.

Please click HERE for further information about the MA program.

Read the MA Graduate Handbook online HERE.

MFA PROGRAM APPLICATION

If you are interested in applying for the MFA program for Fall 2021, please refer to the MFA program application procedures to review what you will need for your application.

  • Applications may be started between October 21, 2020, and February 1, 2021.
  • The application deadline is February 7, 2021.
  • The supplementary document deadline is February 9, 2021.

Please click HERE for further information about the MFA program.

Read the MFA Graduate Handbook online HERE.

 

PhD PROGRAM APPLICATION

If you are interested in applying for the PhD program for Fall 2021, please refer to the PhD program application procedures to review what you will need for your application.

  • Applications may be started between May 31, 2021, and June 28, 2021.
  • The application deadline is June 30, 2021.
  • The supplementary document deadline is July 2, 2021.

Please click HERE for further information about the PhD program.

Read the PhD Graduate Handbook online (please check back!)

Questions?

For further inquiries about the SCA's Graduate Programs, please send an email to the Graduate Program Assistant: sca_gpa@sfu.ca.

MA FAQ

What is unique about the MA in Contemporary Arts?

A few things! Students get interdisciplinary training in studies of the arts. A focus on practical training prepares students for careers in the arts. Studying in an art school in downtown Vancouver, they are immersed in the contemporary art scene.

How long does the degree take?

4 semesters, from beginning of September to end of December the next year.

Is there a thesis?

No, it’s a coursework-based MA. Students develop a single research project through several courses, getting the equivalent of a MA thesis without the thesis.

What does that practical training entail?

Students do a practicum with a local arts organization to develop skills like arts management, grant writing, communications, curating, programming, archiving, and production. They have the opportunity to share their research with the public by curating an exhibition or other public event, with funding. They gain publishing experience editing the CMA Journal. Intense professionalization: students learn to publish articles, present in public, develop their public profile, and apply for jobs and funds.

What kind of funding is available?

A lot! There are awards you don’t apply for, like entrance scholarships and fellowships, and awards you do apply for, like SSHRC (up to $17,500), BC Arts Council ($6000), and a great number of scholarships and awards. See this useful search engine and the dandy Graduate Student Funding Database on the MA web page.

What is SSHRC?

Glad you asked! The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada awards the Bombardier Master’s scholarship to excellent students. The deadline is December 1, so ideally you would apply for a SSHRC the year before you enter the program, but you can also apply while you are in the program.

What careers does the MA prepare students for?

Careers in the arts: curating and programming, arts writing, festivals, galleries, artist-run centres, arts administration, and arts advocacy. MA students also go on to do PhDs in studies of the arts.
 

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